Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Signature sows more confusion

The Maxwell Trial: 18

Maxwell aides to take stand

TWO former directors of Maxwell Communication Corporation, Peter Laister and Basil Brookes, are due to enter the witness box this week in the trial of brothers Kevin and Ian Maxwell, Larry Trachtenberg and Robert Bunn.

Television / Till sleaze do them part

FLORA MATLOCK comes from good country stock. The kind of stock you get by simmering large jawbones for two or three centuries. At Cambridge she met Duncan, a grammar-school boy, and was attracted by "his intellect, his commitment and his moral base". Wanting a career where he could use all three, Duncan naturally became a Tory MP and Flora became The Politician's Wife (C4).


Is 'Fawlty Towers' the best British television comedy ever written? To mark its return to BBC1 tonight, John Cleese tells Andrew Davidson in a rare interview how Basil and Manuel were created and why he will never write about them again

Obituary: Basil Skinner

Basil Chisholm Skinner, historian: born Edinburgh 7 November 1923; Director of Extra-Mural Studies, Edinburgh University 1966-79; married (two sons); died Edinburgh 5 April 1995.

True gripes : Basil, please brush off

Urban foxes are a pain. Who needs them?

The last modernist monster

William Scammell salutes the late great Basil Bunting mxczx xcvzx zxarbkjdnfikz nvkfzi zxfkgh kxl nvx;lfijiu;d

Interactive novel for the brave exec

Today I bring you a complete novel, a mini-novel short enough for all businessman who simply don't have the time to read any novel longer than about six inches. It's what we call an interactive novel - in other words, you are the hero and whenever we come to an exciting bit, I give you four options for continuation and you must choose the right one before we go on.

OBITUARIES : The Rev Professor Basil Hall

Basil Hall was one of the finest Church historians in Britain. He pursued excellence, and the result was that for a man of his outstanding gifts and knowledge he published little - a book of essays, Protestants and Humanists, and a number of indi vidual essays and chapters in books. These are very fine and break new ground in a whole range of topics. He was asked to write a chapter on the history of the English Bible and was assured that it should only take him a couple of months. He spent more t han two years on it. It is definitive.

Edinburgh Festival Day 1: Reviews: Dorian Crook with Sir Bernard Chumley

Sir Bernard Chumley makes for a startling spectacle. Combining the jowled countenance of an obese nine-year-old with the attire and mannerisms of an elderly country squire, he holds forth with likely reminiscences of a life in the theatre; like the time he defecated over Felicity Kendal, and other dull old actorly tales you've heard again and again from such luminaries as Peter Ustinov. Mid- stream, he breaks out of character to bark some unintelligible abuse at himself, before lapsing back into raconteur mode with a dignified toss of his rug. Dorian Crook, meanwhile, specialises in the sort of intricate punning Basil Brush fans might appreciate. He was voted The Face's 'Hot Tip for 1994', presumably more for his natty dress sense than comedic ability. Still, Chumley's the chap; as cult as they come.

Catching the flavour of the sun: My summer with basil: our cookery writer indulges in her seasonal fling

Much as I like the idea of fancy basils (cinnamon basil, lemon basil, purple basil et al), there are just two types that really matter in the kitchen.

Gardening: Herbal and verbal comforts: Who can resist a plant called 'hyssop'? Not Anna Pavord, relishing a hotel herb garden in Norfolk with 450 varieties

How many people, when they plant hyssop, the aromatic perennial herb flowering now in blue, white and pink, really believe they are going to brew hyssop teas, distil hyssop oil, or marshal the local bees to produce hyssop honey? We just like the idea that one day we might. Having hyssop makes us feel comfortable. It reassures us that we have not entirely cut ourselves adrift from a long tradition of folk knowledge and thrifty housekeeping.

Gardening: Cuttings: Day of basil

THE Museum of Garden History has arranged a day course on 'The Pot of Basil and the Summer Herb Garden' on 28 July (10am-3pm). Caroline Holmes is in charge, and tickets are available (pounds 40) from the museum at Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB (071-261 1891).
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot